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Emotional Distress As a Disability: Can You Get Disability Benefits?

Posted on 12/20/21 by admin in Social Security Disability

Social security disability benefits can be obtained if someone is disabled and unable to work for a long period of time, if not for a life-time. The SSA or Social Security Administration grants or denies disability benefits to applicants. They have certain criteria in place for candidates to meet. Many people wonder if they can receive SSDI or SSI benefits because of emotional distress as a disability. Emotional damages such as stress, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, etc. You may be wondering this as well. You are not alone.

What Are The Requirements To Apply For SSI Or SSDI?

There are no requirements to apply for Social Security Disability. However, there are requirements to gain approval for benefits. The main requirement is that a person is out of work for a long time due to their disability. The SSA looks at how the disability affects your ability to sit, stand, walk and complete tasks that may be required to work. To see if you qualify for SSDI benefits or SSI benefits click here. BUT after you check, make sure to come back here and find out if you can apply for benefits from emotional distress as a disability.

woman stressed, depressed and facing anxiety questioning her emotional distress as a disability

Every disability applicant is not guaranteed for approval. A disabled person, whether you or a loved one may meet the demands. However, the inability to prove your claim may impact the application process. You have to show all damages suffered from the disability. Furthermore you must meet the requirements set in place by the Social Security Administration.

Anyone can apply for benefits, but worrying about a positive outcome will cause more stress. Moreover, you or a loved one may already be suffering from emotional distress as a disability. This might be why you are reading this blog. Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for social security disability if you face depression, anxiety or PTSD.

Can I Be Approved For SSD For Emotional Distress As a Disability?

There are 2 types of disability benefits: SSI and SSDI. Know the differences between the two before you consider applying for Social Security Disability. Having emotional distress as a disability will impact how you perform at your job. Whether through stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States according to a study by the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Anxiety illnesses affect about 40 million adults in the U.S.. Moreover, every year on average about 15 million adults are affected by PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Needless to say, the negative impacts on mental health have or will affect everyone to a certain degree.

person depressed and facing emotional distress as a disability in a dark hallway

Some cases of emotional damage seriously impact the lives of employees who cannot work. If you or someone you know suffers from mental distress as a disability, you may be able to receive SSDI if you can prove that the condition is truly disabling.

How To Prove PTSD Is Truly Disabling

The most important advice we at Malloy Law Offices can give is get treatment for your disability. Your health and recovery is vital. Moreover, when the SSA evaluates your claim, they will look for proper medically documented items. This goes for all cases of emotional distress as a disability, whether PTSD or depression. We will cover how to prove PTSD as a disability and talk about cases of depression later.

Learning from books on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD

PTSD was added as a disability listing in 2017, under Trauma- and stressor-related disorders. After you apply for social security disability, what’s next? Well, the Social Security Administration will consider your medical records from physicians, therapists, and counselors. To fulfill the criteria for PTSD, you must have medically documented proof of certain issues. Issues can range from:

  • Experiencing the death of someone in your life or having a near death experience
  • Continuous intrusive memories, dreams, or flashbacks
  • Avoidance of anything involving a traumatic event
  • Drastic change in mood or behavior
  • An increase of exaggerated startle responses and sleep disturbance

Furthermore, you must have noticeable increased limitations from prior to the development of PTSD. Some of those setbacks can include trouble regulating emotions, adapting to changes, practicing personal skills like cleaning or getting dressed. As well as not being able to handle social settings or learning issues and concentrating. So if possible, get a trusted medical specialist to document everything for your case.

What about if you suffer from depression? Is it the same as PTSD?

Can Suffering From Depression Cause Emotional Distress As a Disability?

Depression and PTSD both face similar challenges when proving that you have emotional distress as a disability. The SSA considers depression as a long-term disability under certain criteria. The requirements include proving that you:

  • Developed a sleeping disorder
  • Are having a hard time completing practical tasks
  • Have significant changes in mood such as lack of interest, feeling worthless or loss in appetite

As with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, getting authoritative medical figures to document your mental disability is important. However, getting the right doctor and listening to their instructions is key. In this scenario, social workers and nurse practitioners don’t have much authority to analyze your health in comparison to psychiatrists and psychologists. Your doctor may also need to complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). An RFC questionnaire evaluates your capacity to work. In doing so, the SSA is able to evaluate your work skills prior to your condition.

Therapy session with therapist and client who is sad, depressed, and facing anxiety

Completing all these tasks can be challenging. You risk facing the disappointment of being denied. An attorney can increase your chances at receiving disability benefits.

Increase Your Chances At Proving Emotional Distress As a Disability

Proving to the SSA that you have emotional distress as a disability is more challenging than demonstrating physical disabilities. Hiring a social security disability lawyer increases your chances of being approved. That’s because it shows the Social Security Administration that you are serious about your claim and need help because you are unable to work. There’s a lot to consider when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. So, call us with any questions: 202-933-1918. We offer free consultation because we don’t want you to face this challenge alone.